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NEW TOP JOB FOR ROVER'S SAVIOUR.

LEFT-WINGER Tony Woodley, the man who spearheaded the battle to save Rover's Longbridge car plant, was yesterday elected as the new leader of the transport workers union.

Mr Woodley, 54, is currently the union's Deputy General Secretary and is well-known across the country for his leadership of thousands of car workers, especially during the campaign to save Rover.

He polled 66,958 votes to become the new General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, beating a challenge from his main rival Jack Dromey who polled 45,136 votes.

Mr Woodley, who lives in Ellesmere Port with his wife and son, pledged to convene aLEADER ... Woodley summit of union leaders if he won the election in a bid to assert more influence over the Labour Party.

He publicly distanced himself from New Labour during his campaign and will be an outspoken critic of Government policies, threatening to strain even further the tense relationship between the party and the unions.

Mr Woodley said he was 'absolutely delighted' to have secured victory, which he said sent a message to the Government.

'I believe working people think that this Government is wedded too close to big business,' he said.

'My victory is an early warning for the Government to start listening to the priorities of Labour voting men and women such as jobs, decent pay, good working conditions and pensions.'

Mr Woodley will succeed Bill Morris, who began his trade union career in Birmingham.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:242
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